Sunday, September 30, 2012

Random Sunday Musings 9/30

This week was back on schedule, and the final push of training before I start tapering in November.  Tuesday I ran 35 minutes straight, with absolutely no walking.  I haven't done that in years.  It was a combination of frustration with something at work and wanting to push myself in this final stage.  It wasn't something major at work, but it was something that I needed to run off.  Sometimes work stress is great for training.

If you remember, I did 8 miles in mid-August, and realized I had started training too soon and decided to ease off a little bit.  Yesterday was 9 miles, and I felt great!  I did them inside since it rained ALL DAY yesterday, but I parked myself in front of Sportscenter and ran for 2 hours.  I also decided to speed up my walking intervals by a smidge, and my playlist was shuffled in a way that I liked the beginning choices.  I've written those down, in order, so I can start putting the playlist in an order that will be favorable on race day.  I did find out I will have a purple bib for my race too.

And I think millions of people will agree with me when I give a big welcome back to the NFL refs!

Thursday, September 27, 2012

New Shows!

Another sign it's fall is that new shows start :)  I don't watch as much TV as I used to, but that could be an indication of the shows on TV.  I'm not much of a reality show fan, and all the shows I watch are scripted.  My favorite active show is NCIS, and I've been watching it since college.  Each year they have cliffhangers that leave me screaming (which I guess is the point) and it's torture waiting out the summer.  As such, Tuesday nights are normally blocked off since I watch both NCIS and NCIS Los Angeles.  Both are back in full swing, and they've concluded the stories that started at the end of last season.

Season 4 DVD

I am in the process of buying all seasons, and season 4 is the most recent one I've bought.  The other two shows I watch are Big Bang Theory and Once Upon a Time.  I started watching Big Bang Theory during the 2010 summer, and the first rerun I caught I was laughing so hard, I was almost crying.  I am almost fully caught up on the DVDs for that show, though season 5 was just released.  Sometimes it's just painful how oblivious Sheldon is to the non-physics world.  I definitely went to school with people like that.  Great book smarts but no social smarts.

My curiosity was piqued enough for Once Upon a Time last year that I started watching it from the very beginning.  It's campy, but it's something fun to watch, and as a bonus, I can get a lot of the Disney references, both obvious and not so obvious.  My favorite episode from the first season was the one involving Belle and Rumple.  The Disney references were coming fast and furious.  Also interesting to note, August W. Booth is played by the same actor who played Pvt. David Webster in Band of Brothers.  I didn't make that connection until the Memorial Day weekend BoB marathon.

There really aren't that many new shows I want to check out.  I tried watching Vegas since it was after NCIS Los Angeles, but my interest lasted 30 minutes.  Sorry Vegas.  I'll see if Elementary can hold my attention tonight.

Tuesday, September 25, 2012

Maybe there is a Great Pumpkin

It's almost October, which means it's almost Halloween season.  As I was driving back to Dallas from Houston this past weekend, I passed a church once I got off the highway and guess what!  Their pumpkin patch was ready :)  To celebrate the first sighting of a pumpkin patch, I'll post my Halloween mix from my iPod.

1) Prologue - Little Shop of Horrors 2) Men In Black 3) Theme from Young Frankenstein 4) Cruella de Vil 5) Friends on the Other Side 6) Witch Doctor 7) Desperation Samba 8) Prince Ali (reprise) 9) Devil Went Down to Georgia

10) Bad Moon Rising 11) Overture - Phantom of the Opera 12) Witchy Woman 13) Double Trouble 14) Werewolves of London 15) Phantom of the Opera 16) Headless Horseman (sung by Thurl Ravenscroft) 17) Grim Grinning Ghosts 18) Long Cool Woman in a Black Dress 19) Sweet Transvestite

20) Be Prepared 21) Time Warp 22) Zombie Jamboree 23) Vampires Mummies and the Holy Ghost 24) Hall of the Mountain King 25) Ghostbusters 26) Remains of the Day 27) Feed Me (Git It) 28) Poor Unfortunate Soulds 29) Purple People Easter

30) Trust in Me 31) Monster Mash 32) World's Greatest Criminal Mind 33) Zombie Zoo 34) This is Halloween

Can you tell I like Halloween songs?

Sunday, September 23, 2012

Random Sunday Musings 9/23

This weekend was a rest weekend.  I was out of town and did not get any kind of workout in.  I thought I would do yoga when I got home, but doing some PM yoga would put me to sleep.  I am about 3.5 months from the half, and this week will start the final push.  I have 9 miles planned for next weekend, then 10 miles 3 weeks after that, then 11 as the last long run before I start tapering.  I do need to get some more energy chews for those runs since those miles take up an entire energy packet.  I also need to get some new inserts since my current ones were with me during the Princess half.  I'll get those after my long run and break them in during shorter runs on the weekdays.

Friday, September 21, 2012

Now is the Winter of Our Discontent

So says Shakespeare in Richard III.  Last week the British Press had some exciting news for this history nut: archaeologists believe they've found Richard III's skeleton.  It's off for DNA testing but researchers are pretty certain it's Richard.  What historians hope this will signify is more research into who Richard actually was, and does Shakespeare's portrayal actually fit?  I would say no, take Shakespeare's description with a grain of salt.  His patron was Elizabeth I, whose grandfather defeated Richard at Bosworth Field.  Victors write the history books and Richard has certainly been much maligned ever since his defeat and death. 

I'm currently reading Sandra Worth's first book of her trilogy, The Rose of York.  I thought it fitting during jury duty on Monday since Richard broadened trials by jury, passed laws that forbade intimidation of jurors, and protected the property of those on trial until they were found guilty.  That really doesn't sound like a crooked hunchback planning the grab all the power he can.  I've also read other books during this time, and it does seem like a lot of authors in this day and age are coming round to accepting a different image of Richard.  There are even theories that Henry VII's mother had the two princes murdered in the tower to pave the way for her own son.

What do y'all think?  Anyone else excited about this discovery?

Wednesday, September 19, 2012

I Lived!

I'm slow on the update, and sorry about that.  I survived Texas jury duty and did not get picked!  I made sure to give answers that would give me a strike and I could go home.  In a nutshell, I'm shocked by how inefficient it all was.  60 of us got into the courtroom at 10:30am and the jury wasn't named until 2:15pm.  What were we doing in all that time?  Listening to the district attorney and defense attorney yap.  I never thought Massachusetts would be more efficient at something compared to Texas, but this is one time it is.  When I was called to Dedham district 5 years ago, I was pulled into two jury pools, assigned a random number, and then the judge asked the whole group general questions.  It worked quite smoothly and quickly, and I wasn't chosen for either and I left around 1pm.  Massachusetts did more in the time it took me to get through one jury pool in Texas.  Major ugh!

At least I get pictures like this from my parents:

Hudson seems to be adjusting well.  Hathaway too, who seems to be stalking the very old cuckoo clock they have.  That cuckoo clock is almost as old as I am.

Sunday, September 16, 2012

Random Sunday Musings 9/16

It's cooling off here!  We had a cold front move through as well yesterday, and I took the opportunity to bake for the first time since May.  It gets so hot outside I don't turn on my oven for most of the summer, so it feel like such a huge moment each year when I can turn on my oven again.  I made what my family calls Gems.  They're a combination of creaming sugar and shortening, white flour AND wheat flour with a touch of salt, baking power, baking soda, water and milk, and they bake in muffin tins.  They're a great breakfast side, and remind me of special mornings.  My mom would always make these on mornings like Labor Day, Thanksgiving, Christmas.  I make them more often than that, and decided to make them last night when I saw I had all the ingredients.  It made a total of 18.

Today I did 30 minutes of cardio and followed it up with leg weights.  My leg routine consists of both weight machines and pilates, but I probably should have done more than 30 minutes.  Last night was an FC Dallas game and I was standing for the whole game.  I definitely felt that in my legs this morning, but I knew I needed to do at 30 minutes, so I shot for that.  I threw in some weights in between to break up the minutes, so I did 20 minutes, weights, 10 minutes, then pilates when I got home.

Tomorrow I get to experience something new: Texas jury duty.  I did jury duty once in Massachusetts and got to leave around 1pm after not getting chosen.  Massachusetts says you are eligible for 2 jury pools and if you're not chosen for either, you can leave.  I have no idea how Texas does it.  I have MacBeth my Kindle and will download another book just to be safe.

Friday, September 14, 2012

The Time Has Come, the Walrus Said

Well, it's time.  I've been saving this post because my parents have sold the house and are moving onto their next phase.  I lived in that house for 11 years and 9 months, and have certainly missed it.  While Hudson and Hathaway are moving with them, there are 4 cats who will remain behind in their final resting places.  I wish with everything I had I could be there in person to say good-bye, but this is the best I can do halfway across the country.

"I have felt cats rubbing their faces against mine and touching my cheek with claws carefully sheathed. These things, to me, are expressions of love." ~ James Herriot

To Gracie:
You were tragically taken from us way too soon, yet I have hundreds of memories of you.  You were so sweet, if not that bright.  Whenever you had food, or thought you had food, you would curl your paw up to your face to check it out.  You loved watching the toilet flush.  Your tail cricked at the end, making it easy to know which cat was on the bed at 2am.  You slept against me in my twin bed, taking up so much room.  You shredded the underside of my box spring.  You chirped at sunspots on the ceiling and whenever it was dinner time.  Then you'd hoover your food.  And you were a food hog.  We even named a dinner after you after you bit Dad to get some of the chicken.  You had a pink tipped ear.  You helped Elmo lose weight when you were supposed to be on a diet by eating the food he saved for later.  When we lost Elmo and got Hudson, you certainly were not happy.  The 1.2-pound blob of fur was invading your space.  You hissed at him so many times he became immune to those.  You'd put your paw on his head to keep him from pouncing you, and you'd do this, even when he was growing bigger.  You’d be 7 this year and are missed every day.  The last time I held you was my first trip back to Boston.  When I said good-bye, I couldn't even begin to imagine that was going to be the final good-bye I'd get with you. 

To Elmo and Sonora:

You both came into the house when you were 6.  Elmo, you were fragile and Sonora, you were the adventurous one.  You were the alpha in your brother/sister relationship and would womp Elmo whenever you got a chance.  That left paw would come up and he would start scooting backwards.  It took a few months for you, Elmo, to trust us after the two of you had your world turned upside down, but you eventually came round.  You both weren’t the type of cats to cuddle, but you would always be in the same room with us.  Sonora, you would cack at the birds and chipmunks that ran by the front window.  I’d never heard a cat do that, but you were quite talkative.  If you were frisky, your tail would poof out, it was phenomenal.  Elmo, you were 25 pounds and weren't too active, unless your sister was chasing you.  Sonora, you even managed to tear your ACL, which apparently is quite unusual for a cat.  Of course we got it repaired since so much of your personality was running around the house and patrolling your territory.  Both of you were 10 when we said good-bye to you in the same year.

To Archie:

Archimedes.  16 years with the family, and I swear you used 10 of your 9 lives, quite a few on the teddy-bear cholla incident.  You were with us from Austin to Tucson to Eau Claire to Boston.  When you were in the mood, you would terrorize the dogs.  In Austin, your descent from the second floor was halfway down the stairs, hit the chair closest to that spot and be on the first floor.  Grandma didn’t know that and you surprised her.  Grandpa would always wear his cowboy boots and step on your tail.  I don’t think he ever got used to you.  In Arizona, you enjoyed bringing lizards that you had caught into the house, but you were a terrible fighter.  The neighbor-cat was tougher and you seemed to be his favorite punching bag.  Dad got real good at cleaning out those wounds.  You retired from active life in Wisconsin and migrated along the upstairs rooms, depending on the season.  You loved walking with Mom to see the garden, and you did bring a baby rabbit into the house.  You absolutely loved my friend Emily and would come flying into the room whenever she was at the house.  When we moved to Boston, you had to be boarded at the vet for 18 days before we could move into the first house.  You ended up being a favorite at the office.  You roamed the first house, and even got one white whisker.  Your black fur was flecked with gray but you kept going.  At 14, we moved into your last home.  Your passing at 16 was the end of an era.  You were the only cat I remembered and we were the same age and I grew up with you.  It didn’t feel right without you in the house.  You’d always been there.

Thursday, September 13, 2012

Harry Potter Pub Quiz

My friends and I do pub quizzes hosted by Geeks Who Drink.  This past Monday they had their third Harry Potter cash quiz at the House of Blues.  We really didn't know what to expect for the questions, but we split up the books and some of us watched all 8 movies.  I never realized until now exactly how thick-headed Harry can be!  Or maybe it's just the acting.

The quiz wasn't as fun as I thought it would be, but I still had some fun.  The Cambridge Room was decked out to look like the Great Hall at Hogwarts, our quizmaster dressed up as Dumbledore, and the food was good too.  The questions turned out to be so obscure though.  Not only were they questions from the main books and movies, but they brought in questions from the supplement books Rowling wrote as well.  Normally I can help out on most rounds because I know so much random information, but I was out altogether on at least 2 rounds.  Not a fun feeling.  We left before the 8th round began, but I can say now I know the area around House of Blues.  We drove around it 3 times before parking.

Monday, September 10, 2012

Disneyland 2009 Day 3

Day 3 started early again.  I heard my parents leave for the starting line, and I rolled over and went back to sleep for a couple more hours.  Breakfast was at Denny's again, and after stopping by the room to grab my mom's medal from WDW, I started my walk over to the finish line area.  Both my parents were going for their Coast to Coast medals and my mom wanted a picture with all three medals.  It was kind of a warm morning, but the walk didn't take that long and I got to the finish area, then I had to weave around tons of runners.  I met my parents and wow does the Coast to Coast medal look awesome.  It's the Partners statue with the castle behind it.

The rest of the day was a lot more easy-going than the previous 2 days.  We went back to Disneyland to walk around a bit more, but didn't stay too long since we were meeting up with friends to have dinner at Napa Rose, which is the restaurant in the Grand Californian Hotel and Spa.  The food and wine were excellent, and I made sure my dessert was chocolate :)  It was a great way to celebrate the weekend.

So, comparing the two parks, I have to say I like Disneyland more.  It's the park that Walt built and it's the park of my childhood.  I certainly like Disney World a lot, don't get me wrong, but there's a special kind of atmosphere at Disneyland that's hard to describe.  Though some rides have changed, and others have been taken away, my childhood memories of Disneyland make it my favorite of the two parks.

Sunday, September 9, 2012

Random Sunday Musings 9/9

It's gameday!  Though thanks to regional coverage, I won't get the Patriots :(  That time slot is taken up by the Miami/Houston game... I did buy a steak for dinner tonight.  After all, it is the first NFL Sunday of the season.  Anybody else excited it's football season?

Yesterday I did 10k and was the farthest I've gone since doing 8 miles last month.  I scaled back since I had so much time before the Dallas half, and I decided to take it easy a little bit.  I felt good yesterday, and tried a new interval pattern: run for 2 songs, recover for 1.  I was doing well, but during one song my calf decided it didn't like what I was doing, so now I have a pretty good knot there.  I attacked it with the stick, the foam roller and Bengay.  Later today I'll do yoga stretching, and some of those stretches will target the calves as well.  I won't do 9 miles until the end of the month, so I do have some time to work this thing out.

Saturday, September 8, 2012

Disneyland 2009 Day 2

Day 2 started early, but not bright.  The sun was not up when I woke up.  When my parents are on Eastern time and I'm on Central time, we're up early.  Breakfast was at Denny's, which was just a short walk from our hotel.  Not surprisingly, there weren't many people in the restaurant when we walked in. After breakfast, we cheered on the 5k runners before heading back to the hotel.  The parks were not open yet.

We started at Disney's California Adventure, which is right across the walkway from Disneyland.  If there's a long line at one park gate, it runs into the other park's gate.  We opened the park, and followed practically everyone to Toy Story Mania.  It seemed like we hiked mountains to get from the front of the park to the back.

This ride is so much fun.  The first time I rode it was at WDW during the Tower of Terror 13k in 2008.    It's a 3-D ride in which you have to hit targets and each screen has a different theme, all depending on the character who's hosting the contest.

DCA is where all the new rides seem to be going at the Disneyland Resort.  It has Soarin' as well as Muppet Vision 3-D and Turtle Talk with Crush, but it also has a Monster's Inc. dark ride which I thought was very cute.  Poor Crush, the kid he talked to said his favorite thing to eat was shrimp!  Crush has friends who are shrimp... then another kid said he loved to eat Brussell Sprouts, and Crush asked if they gave the kid "the bubbles."

We spent the morning and ate lunch at DCA, then headed back over to DL where we made sure to do the Haunted Mansion and Pirates of the Caribbean.  Most of the facades are completely different from WDW, and I really like how Pirates is set up in Disneyland.  Everything seems more open with how things are designed and a lot of lining up areas are outside.  I think that's because, even though it does get hot in Anaheim, it doesn't have the Florida intensity.  At some point my parents went back to the hotel to get off their feet and prep for the race the next morning.  I stayed in DL and decided to go on It's a Small World since my dad normally refuses to do that ride.  I wonder why???

This was after Disney added their own characters into the ride, and I took some pictures of my favorite ones.

I did a couple more rides in Fantasyland before heading back to the hotel.  I did Snow White, Pinocchio, headed to the Jungle Cruise and then went back to DCA to do Soarin' again.  We walked to dinner, which was ended up being the Cheesecake Factory.  One thing I absolutely love about Disneyland was how everything was within walking distance.  WDW requires either a car or bus for everything.  We could walk to both parks, Downtown Disney, Denny's, and quite a lot of other restaurants in the area.  Since I wasn't running, I also ordered cheesecake and brought half of it back to the hotel to save for later.

Friday, September 7, 2012

Disneyland 2009 Day 1

This week has been slow, but I figured out what to blog about.  Since I know a few people who did the Disneyland Half, I thought I'd talk about my family's trip to DL in 2009.  This was before I was into runDisney, so I was just along for the ride.  I hadn't been to Disneyland since I was 9, but people were talking about the differences between Disneyland and Walt Disney World.  I thought I was prepared.  After flying in from Dallas Friday morning, eating lunch and going to the expo, it was early afternoon by the time I got into the park.  (The photo below was taken by my parents early morning since they were already there.)

I was still taken aback by how small Sleeping Beauty's Castle looks compared to Cinderella's.  It looks more quaint.  It's all about Disney magic and perspective!  I was so excited in general because Disneyland has attractions that either did not make it to WDW, or did but was changed or did and was taken over by Winnie the Pooh.  First up was Mr. Toad's Wild Ride.
OK, this was the first ride that another perspective change hit me full force.  I was prepared for the differences between DL and WDW, but what I didn't prepare for was my own perspective.  My memories of DL were those of a child, and well, at 24 I was a bit taller than I was at 5, 7 and 9.  I was taller and the cars were smaller.  After Mr. Toad was Alice in Wonderland.

Then we did Roger Rabbit's Cartoon Spin (sorry, no pictures) and the REAL Enchanted Tiki Room.

WDW ruined the Enchanted Tiki Room when they updated it to Under New Management.  I refused to go there after my mom reported back and said how awful it was and completely destroyed the original incarnation.  Now the Tiki Room has been restored at WDW after a fire destroyed Iago.  Karma by the Tiki gods no doubt.

That was the end of the first day in Disneyland because it was time for dinner and then the WISH meet.  The next day would be California Adventure, which wasn't built until after our trip to DL when I was 9.  This would be my first time there.

Tuesday, September 4, 2012

Labor Day Weekend Splurge

Bless me Father, for I have... err, no, not that, haven't ever done that.  But I do have to 'fess up that my eating habits were not the greatest this entire long weekend.  I had Chinese food Saturday, two helpings of frogurt Sunday, breakfast from la Madaleine yesterday and then some pastries leftover from a Russian wedding (my friend was the MOH).  Today I need to get back on track.  I do strive to eat healthy since garbage in, garbage out, but every once in a while, I will splurge.  A long weekend is exactly the time to do that, especially since Mondays are a normal day off for me.  I didn't want a typical breakfast and I think splurging keeps me sane.  I don't cut out all bad stuff, otherwise I'd lose it, but I am smart about it. 

Anybody else use long weekends to splurge on foods you don't normally eat?

Sunday, September 2, 2012

Random Sunday Musings 9/2

It's the start of college football season!  I have also made it through August and it's finally September.  Saturday I did 4.25 miles on the treadmill, then relaxed for the rest of the day.  I was exhausted Friday night and new this 3-day weekend was going to be very much appreciated.  In the afternoon, FX had the CU-CSU game, and showed Ralphie's run on replay.  Someone needs to tell the commentators Ralphie is a she.  If she was a he, he would be way bigger than the currently Ralphie.  They've obviously never seen live bison.  CU didn't win, but I mostly watch the games to see Ralphie run.

Sunday I focused more on weight work than cardio.  I did a 15-minute warmup before going into leg work and core work.  I've been doing my hip pilates routine more often because I have a weak spot in my upper right hip.  I've tried to do regular weight work to strengthen it, but I found the pilates exercises targets that area better.  It flared up during the Princess half and during my 8-mile run 3 weeks ago so I've become determined to make it go away.  I don't want it to bother me during White Rock.

Saturday, September 1, 2012

Disneyland is Your Land

I wanted to give a quick shout out to everyone who is running the Disneyland Half and/or 5K this weekend.  I was at Disneyland in 2009 when family and family friends ran the half, but at that time I was getting back into shape and had not been bitten by the running bug.  I absolutely love the medals the runDisney folks design, and I do have a little bit of envy for those getting the half bling.  The photos below are courtesy of runDisney.  Good luck, y'all!